Exo Prospect

THE CHALLENGE: Asteroid Mining
Solar System

Develop an approach for characterizing the composition of asteroid for mining potential and a process for mining different compositions. Explore a possible division of labor involving different types of vehicles (e.g. sensor units, drilling units, power gathering and distribution, extracted resources handling and transferring). Consider solutions for moving said asteroids between different orbits and/or consequently make periodical adjustments to keep them in place. Analyze how your idea would cope in some of the given scenarios or outline a scheme of your own.


Thousands of miles above us, comets and asteroids are waiting to be reached.

Until now, asteroid mining has always been a firm facet of science fiction too audacious and risky for the public. This changes today, with Exo Prospect.

Exo Prospect provides a cheap and highly-customizable autonomous alternative to existing mining systems. This is accomplished via the use of von Neumann self-replicating mining drones. Though audacious and far fetched, this system ensures optimal operation and yield with minimal operational costs and risk.

The first component - the marketplace - is an asteroid aggregation app resembling traditional stock market terminals. The software displays the most viable asteroids available, and general information about each of them. From there, the user may select an asteroid and view specific details and information before either designing, and soliciting a mission or contributing to an existing one for a share of the profits. Once the mission is finalized, the opportunity to manufacture and launch the mission vessel is placed on auction between participating aerospace corporations.

The second component is the actual launch and execution of the mission. Exo Prospect provides a basic design for a production-capable mining drone (customized based on the mission solicitor's parameters) that is then manufactured and launched by the winning bidder of each launch auction. The relatively-small vessel will cruise to the target asteroid and, upon arrival, land on the asteroid and begin mining operations. Using its production facilities, it will then use a portion of the resources it collects to assemble and launch small resource tugs at intervals defined by production hardware and solicitor parameters. Because the cost of manufacture is ultimately placed on the mission solicitor, he or she can choose to include or omit certain non-critical components and features, such as a spectrometer to definitively study the yield composition or redundant navigation sensors that reduce the severity of emergency situations.

Resources Used

Code and Frameworks:
- Ruby
- Rails
- Github
- Sourcetree

Marketing, Video, Presentation Materials:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe After Effects
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Powerpoint

Made inAuckland New Zealand
from the minds of
How they did it